Review by Doctrine Dark
"Or Doki Doki Panic Advance depending on how you look at it."
When gamers first played Super Mario 2 they were disappointed with the fact that it was different from Mario's first adventure on the NES but they would later have no problem with that and found out that it was as great of a game as the original. So about 11 years later and a couple of more games later Nintendo rereleased this classic on the new Game Boy Advance. So what changes were made to the game that was originally known as Doki Doki Panic well actually quite a few. Well first there is the new character select screen that looks a lot better then the boring original one and some things have gotten bigger actually since there are now big vegetables to pull out of the ground and throw and there are also some big enemies and big POW blocks too and the hearts for your life meter are now a lot easier to get since they appear more often like when you pull a weed out of the ground or they could be seen plain as day but anyway you no longer have to plow a certain number on enemies just to get one heart piece and they are a lot bigger if I might add. Also the Koopa shells you pull out of the ground no longer disappear when they hit a wall but bounce off it and keep going but you can also get damaged by the shell like you would in any other Mario game now. There is also a new level 3 boss which Robirdo a robotic version of Birdo(Orginally it was another Mouser that was the boss of level 3)and there are also voices that the main characters and the bosses would spout out which you ever liked or hated but I'll take the first option since it gave the game more life in some ways and it does show how well the Game Boy Advance is at doing voices but I don't want to get into that now and there are some more changes in here which I will get to soon like I always do. Oh and let us not forget about the inclusion of the arcade classic Mario Bros and you can also link up with other Game Boys to play multiplayer but everyone plays as Mario but in different colors for some reason(C'mon is it that hard to put in Luigi,Peach,and Toad in there they can just re do them a little so that their abilities are on equal but too late for that now)even though one of them is wearing blue and green like Luigi he has Mario's build but I guess a few Mario clones shouldn't ruin the fun of the game right? Well now to the important part.
They look the same as the Super Mario All Stars version of SMB2 and that's good thing since the old NES version looked kind of ugly compared to its All Stars counterpart. There are some rotating effects used when throwing enemies ala Yoshi's Island and those big enemies look pretty good along with the other big stuff like big vegetables and the big POW blocks. The inside of the jars have a new look to them and have all new backgrounds and new stuff like a rotating wheel complete with platforms. The Mario Bros mode uses the same sprite for Mario in SMB2 but why they had to have all 4 players play as different colored Marios is kind of dumb in some ways since it looks silly seeing 4 people play as a different colored version of Mario each but no big deal right?
The music sounds more like it does on the NES and maybe that is a good thing since I didn't like the SNES music playing when you were in an underground area or a pipe since it sounded bland after some time. The voices were actually a nice addition even though some people may find it annoying when you keep hearing you character every time they pull something out of the ground but the majority of the voices didn't bother me much except for Toad's since it kind of got on me at certain points(I think the voice he has is the same one he had in the Super Mario Bros Super Show but I forget though since its been almost 10 years since I saw that cartoon)but that's it when it came to voice that annoyed me and it does show how capable the Game Boy Advance is at doing voices but you knew that already.
Its the same two button format in the NES version but the shoulder buttons on the GBA do serve a purpose well only the L button does since it scrolls the screen up and down if you want to change the view slightly but if you want to scroll left or right you have to press the select button and I think it should have been the R button since that would make more sense if they had both shoulder buttons work the camera but I'am not complaining mind you just saying what would be better and the control is alredy good.
Okay now on to the gameplay. The basic game is still the same where you pick a character(each have different statuses) each level and there are 3 levels inside one stage and there are a total of 7 stages. You don't break blocks or jump on Goombas like in Mario's other adventures but instead you throw vegetables at enemies and you pick up enemies to throw at other enemies but if you are familiar with Mario 2 then you should know about that already. There are couple of jars and weeds added in some parts that were not there originally and it is possible to get more then 4 points on the life meter unlike in the NES and SNES versions. Its a little too easy to gain extra lives now since there are now five Ace coins each level and getting all five gets you a 1 up and you can now wager more coins on the slot machine at the end of a level and at one point I wagered all my coins and got three 7s on the slots and my lives skyrocketed but this time when start out a level you start out small and only one life point on the meter so maybe its not all that easy. There is also a Yoshi challenge section similar to the one in Super Mario Deluxe and that make things better. Mario Bros is pretty addicting even with one player and it is a good way to kill off time especially if you can find a couple more people to play with.
With the inclusion of classic Mario Bros and the added Yoshi Challenge there sure is a lot of replay value to be found here and you will be playing this one for sometime and it is a mighty fine game to play if you are on the road or if you are just waiting and you are bored. Sure its Super Mario Bros 2 again but that don't mean it is not fun to play still like it always has been in almost any shape or form.
I would have given this a 10 but I guess a 9 is better since the game is kind of easy with the easy 1 ups but this is a must buy GBA game and a very nice launch title. For those younger gamers out there that have not experienced the joy of SMB2 yet then you should give this a shot since you will be experiencing a part of video game history and even for the old time NES freaks that remember SMB2 this is still a must buy. If you get a Game Boy Advance then also be sure to get this game too besides come on its Mario.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/31/01, Updated 07/31/01
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